I am writing to alert the public that a panel of state senators recently gutted common-sense legislation to protect everyone’s right to make their own solar energy without the utility getting in the way — and free ourselves from crushingly high electricity prices.
It’s called the Solar Bill of Rights (SB 288 – Wiener) and it would have ensured that everyone can make and store solar energy on their property without punitive fees designed to discourage solar.
The utilities lobbied our lawmakers to kill these provisions, and lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee obliged, without any public notice or discussion.
This is a great example of how the utilities will do anything to protect their monopoly, even as they raise electricity rates on consumers.
SDG&E pays residential solar producers 5 cents per kilowatt during daylight hours and wants to regulate usage from 4-9 p.m. to keep a healthy profit margin and reduce any long term benefits of going solar. Utility companies set the energy pricing tiers, what they will pay for excess solar production and now want to control when that energy can be used.
Now utilities are trying to block homeowners from storing the excess energy produced and keep control of what is paid to solar producers. The playing field needs to be leveled.
I ask the public to contact your state senator and ask them to resurrect the Solar Bill of Rights. Let’s insist that our lawmakers stand up for our right to make energy on our property without red tape or punishment, and free ourselves from the expensive utility monopoly.
FRANK L FRACCALVIERI, Escondido